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Invoicing: Quickbooks vs InfoPath

I'm starting a new venture with a friend of mine working on computers.  Spyware removal, running disk defrag, setting up wireless networks, etc.  Easy stuff that people are willing to pay good money for.

I'm using Quickbooks 2002 to handle the accounting, and have started using it to print up invoices.  These guys are darn ugly, and the customizing options seem to be fairly limited.  I would like to send invoices out as emails, and/or post them on the web for clients to view.  Quickbooks would make me pay to do this.

Infopath looks like the right tool for the job.  I'd like to customize some infopath forms to handle the estimates & invoices, and then export those to email and/or the web for viewing.  I don't want to enter data twice, so does anyone know if integrating InfoPath & Quickbooks is doable/easy? 

Am I looking in the wrong place for this?  Would it be easier to go from Quickbooks and export the data to the web/email, either through infopath or skipping it altogether?  Does the newest version of Quickbooks (2005 I believe) make this easier? 

Thanks for your help!
Nathan Send private email
Thursday, January 27, 2005
You can try writing something with the QuickBooks SDK.  I've used it before to shuttle QuickBooks info to other applications and vice versa.  The SDK is pretty complete so you should be able to easily write a program that grabs your invoice data and pushes it to InfoPath.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A few musings:

- Presumably InfoPath will charge you for their services, so whether you pay QB extra for e-mail sends/web stuff or InfoPath, you're still paying someone.

- I couldn't find the InfoPath you are talking about.  Infopath.com took me to a site that doesn't look like it's the one you are discussing.

- As a customer of yours I'm not sure I'd need or want to look at invoices on the web, and I might be concerned about this.  Sounds as if your customers are relatively unsophisticated computer users (why else would they be paying you for virus/spyware removal?) so they may not be interested in web invoice viewing - have you asked them?  They may not even want or know how to receive an invoice via e-mail - they may prefer snail mail.

- You can download free PDF creators and "print" invoices to them.  Then you can send the PDF invoices to your clients as e-mail attachments.  For free.

- With QuickBooks all of your business data remains with you.  I don't know whether InfoPath allows this or if it's web based, but ... I like the idea of my business financial data staying within my own four walls.
Karl Perry Send private email
Thursday, January 27, 2005
InfoPath is part of Office 2003 - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010857921033.aspx
Mike Gray Send private email
Thursday, January 27, 2005
I use QuickBooks and instead of using their invoice emailing service I instead print to pdf and mail the pdf's in emails myself.  Works fine for me.
Herbert Sitz Send private email
Thursday, January 27, 2005
You might take a look at the QuickBooks Online edition.  For a microISV, it costs < $20/month and has all the fixins.  I think you'll find it to be quite an improvement over 2002, especially in being "internet-aware."

You can check out a free demo at http://oe.quickbooks.com/try.shtml?sc=QBC-V51-TRY-PRDPGE-041025
Thursday, January 27, 2005
I don't think many of my clients would pay an emailed invoice, sadly they expect a piece of paper like they get from everybody else.
Tony Edgecombe Send private email
Friday, January 28, 2005
InfoPath 2003 is only included in Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003 (available to Microsoft Volume Licensing customers only)

Otherwise it is available by itself for $199US
Friday, January 28, 2005
Let me just say that QuickBooks 2005 is incredible.  You can fully customize your Invoices, Sales Receipts, Estimates, Statements, etc. in much greater detail than in the 2002 version (the version from which we upgraded).  As was mentioned previously you have email options for sending invoices, estimates, etc.  We also signed up for the Merchant Service and Billing Solutions so that our customers now have options to pay online (they get a link to a secure site) or we can set up recurring payment options.  Customers love being able to login to a secure site and pay their invoices, see their account activity, etc.

We tried the Online Edition but it really hamstrung us in some aspects of our business and made the decision to go back to the desktop edition (upgrading to Pro 2005).
Friday, January 28, 2005

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